Spicy Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

It’s cookie time! That time of year where we get to spend our days sneaking cookies out of tins on the counter. My mom and I used to make these Gingerbread Cookies during the holidays, and they were one of my favorites. (My ultimate favorite is still the Neopolitans…so so good.) But these came in a close second. We used to make up a big batch, pull out the cookie decorating kits, and decorate them with frosting and edible decorations. As much as I loved decorating them, they’re also fantastic straight out of the oven with nothing on them.

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies | Soymilk + Honey

These aren’t your typical gingerbread cookies. They are slightly chewy and they have a spicy bite to them – thanks to the addition of black pepper. And the best thing about these cookies is that they get better with time. The flavor gets a bit stronger and they get a bit chewier. Both of which are good things when it comes to gingerbread. I recommend baking up a good mix of small and large cookies so you can nibble on the small ones throughout the day. You feel less guilty when you eat 10 small cookies :).

This is a classic Martha Stewart Recipe, and though I’ve tried other gingerbread recipes, I always come back to this one. They are the best.

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies | Soymilk + Honey

A quick note: In the recipe, it calls for you to cool the gingerbread cookies after you roll and cut them. I tried both throwing them in the oven right after cutting them and doing the proper 30 minute cool down. To be honest, I couldn’t tell the difference. So if you’re a stickler for rules, feel free to follow as written. But if you’re lazy and you don’t work the dough too much, I think you can throw them right in the oven.

Spicy Christmas Gingerbread Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 30 cookies
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus a bit extra for rolling the dough out
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup unsulfured molasses
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. Using a Kitchenaid (or an electric mixer), mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the spices and salt. Then mix in the egg and molasses. Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined.
  3. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap, forming two discs while you wrap them up. Put in the refrigerator for 1 hour to chill.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll one half of the dough to ⅛" to ¼" thick. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out your cookies. You can re-roll the dough a few times to use up the scraps.
  6. Transfer the cookies to parchment or silpat-covered baking sheets, and refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes. (or..just throw them in the oven.)
  7. Bake until cookies are firm but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

These cookies will last for about a week in an air-tight container.

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